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In the News

Soiree 2015

You Can Still Help Unleash The Magic for Seniors

Thanks to everyone who helped #UnleashTheMagic at our 32nd Annual Soiree Gala Dinner and Auction. We will be able to announce our final results soon. But we know we need greater investment in our elders now, more than ever before. Funding for vulnerable elders from government sources and United Way has been drastically reduced across our region. The goal for just the Raise the Paddle portion of the evening was $175,000 and we raised more than $80,000, so we are nearly halfway there. Help us raise the rest to ensure that seniors receive nutritious meals, have rides to critical medical appointments, maintain health and more. Learn how you can help and watch our newest video.

White Fragility

White Fragility: Why is it so hard for white people to understand racism?

Facilitated by Robin DiAngelo, Ph.D.

Thursday November 19, 1-4 p.m.

Registration: $60

This workshop will provide an in-depth analysis of the specific ways that racism manifests through white fragility. White fragility is the concept that due to living in a social environment that insulates them from racial stress, whites have not had to build their capacity for constructive cross-racial engagement. As a result, we often respond poorly to challenges to our racial worldviews. We will identify the socialization that leads to white fragility and the skills and perspectives needed to overcome it.

Learn more 


Equal Voice News: Ballard NW Senior Center

Thanks to Equal Voice News for this wonderful story, which highlights the challenges we face with cuts to government and United Way funding in our region. A great celebration of National Senior Center Month!

“In a small brick building in sight of the Ballard Locks, which connect bodies of salt and fresh water in this Pacific Northwest city, the aroma of meatballs and tomato sauce wafts up the stairs. In about half an hour, 35 or so regulars at the Ballard NW Senior Center will dig into a meal of spaghetti with meatballs, salad and roasted zucchini, accompanied by lively conversation with their table mates.

“Beverly Jaeger, 79, comes regularly for lunch. She lives a block away, and enjoys the center’s trips to see the daffodils up north, to museum exhibitions, even to the casino. “It gives me something to do. My kids are grown up,” Jaeger says.

“Jaeger and her lunch companions offer a preview of the “age wave” that is just now beginning to hit as the so-called Baby Boom generation — the more than 75 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 – enters the retirement years. Ever since 2011, when the first Baby Boomer turned 65, more than 10,000 Americans celebrate that milestone birthday every single day. By 2030, demographers predict, fully one-fifth of the population will be 65 or older. Some estimate it could be 25 percent of all Americans by that year.”

Read the rest of the story 

Watch the video


Senior Center of West Seattle

It’s easy to visit the Alaska Junction in West Seattle and not know about all the great activities going on at the Senior Center of West Seattle, also known as “The Jewel of the Junction.” Located above the popular Stop ‘n Shop thrift store just off the corner of Oregon and California, is this vibrant Center that serves thousands of people every year. The thrift store itself is a community gathering place for many seniors and volunteers and also serves as a fundraiser for the Center.


It’s a place where Joyce, West Seattle resident, started working as a volunteer last Fall as a reason to get out of the house more. She started with two days but soon was up to three. “I really like working here,” said Joyce. “It’s a wonderful place with wonderful people.” Joyce does everything from sorting, pricing, ringing up customers, or just talking with those who have a story or two to share. 


Kim started coming to the Center just days after she moved to Seattle. Kim taught Business Occupations for many years and although she is 77 and retired she is happy to use and share those skills with others. She also finds she is learning new skills as part of the West Seattle Senior Center community. “I feel valued here,” she said. “It’s a special place.” 


On any given week, there are 50+ classes, groups, and events to attend. There are a wide variety of music, arts and computer classes as well. The Center also offers important health services like foot care, blood pressure checks, Reiki, and massage. Delicious, made-from-scratch lunches are served daily in the “Junction Diner,” created by their fabulous chef, Ellen. The Center also has a café where seniors enjoy fresh baked cookies, coffee, made-to-order sandwiches and homemade soup. Lunch is served daily, Monday through Friday, for $3 for those over the age of 60 and $6 for those under 60. 


The Senior Center of West Seattle also supports its local community by donating slow moving items from the Stop ‘n Shop thrift store to Tent City (Nickelsville homeless community) and by offering a food bank every Tuesday morning.  


The Senior Center of West Seattle will celebrate National Senior Center Month in September by doing what it does best – serving the many people who utilize the senior center every day.  





Southeast Seattle Senior Center

On a corner in Columbia City, next to a quaint and eye catching thrift shop painted like a gingerbread house, sits the Southeast Seattle Senior Center. The colorful mural on the outside of the Center’s building depicts some of Seattle’s history. Inside are people who have seen and done a lot over the years – and are still going strong. The bulletin board in the long hallway off the main entrance is a testament to the many activities taking place at this lively center. Activities that include weekly movies and Bingo, weaving classes, caregiver support groups, massage, exercise classes, field trips to horse racing, basketball games and casinos, computer classes and the list goes on and on.

Thelma is a member who has been coming to the Southeast Seattle Senior Center for the past 15 years. After retirement she started taking quilting classes there and soon volunteered to help at the center. She continues to work in the dining room every day. “I enjoy helping people and making them feel comfortable,” smiles Thelma.

Thelma also takes an exercise class at the Center but has found that staying busy with volunteering is what makes her feel her best. She comes from a big family that has shrunk over time and the senior center provides a lot of company for her. “Everyone at the Center is a like a big family,” stressed Thelma.

Other Center activities include yoga, quilting, bible study, driver safety, chess, cards and other games. A nutritious lunch is served daily, Monday through Friday, for a suggested donation of $3 for seniors over the age of 60.

The Southeast Seattle Senior Center will celebrate National Senior Center Month in September by serving some of the nearly 5,000 people who utilize the senior center annually. Cost for an annual membership is $50 per person and $90 per couple. 



Northshore Senior Center

When you drive into the parking lot of the Northshore Senior Center you know you’ve arrived somewhere special. Not only is the building and garden-like setting beautiful but the volunteers at the front desk immediately make you feel welcome. Chuck, Carolyn and Una enjoy their time together in the coffee shop – a lovely space with views of the outside patio dedicated to social interaction and great espresso. Each one of them has lost a spouse but has found friends, good conversation and laughter at the senior center. Chuck decided to give the lunch a try a few years ago and has kept coming back, every day, for the friendships and the excellent chef. “I find myself wanting to visit regularly and see the great people here,” said Chuck.

Mona decided to visit the center after she moved to the area from New York three years ago. She started as a volunteer working in the coffee shop and has also spent time in the travel office, doing PowerPoint presentations and helping with the rummage sale. She was excited by the work being done at the center and the friendly people so she decided to join as a member. It takes a lot of volunteers to make the center run and Mona feels good about what she is able to give back. Not only does the center serve as a great social connection for Mona but she has also been inspired by the people who come here. This includes people like Lloyd, who is active and involved at 93 years old. “The Center has expanded their programs a lot since I started coming,” said Mona. “I’m excited about what is on the horizon.”

The Northshore Senior Center offers a variety of game playing such as cribbage, pinochle, canasta and chess, along with classes such as fitness, computer, health education, art and music. Organized outdoor recreation includes hiking, golf, fishing, biking and bocce ball. Lunch is served 5 days a week for a suggested donation of $3.00.

The Northshore Senior Center will celebrate National Senior Center Month in September by doing what it does best – serving the 6,000 people who utilize the senior center (2,500 are members) annually. The cost for an annual membership is $35 per person and $60 per couple. The Northshore Senior Center is located in Bothell and also serves the Kenmore and Mill Creek communities.



Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Senior Center

Stepping inside the doors of the Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Senior Center isn’t as quiet and subdued as many people would think. There is a large, vibrant group of people enjoying lunch, attending classes and visiting the Bargain Corner Thrift Shop.

Wes has been coming to the center for 25 years, primarily for lunches. “The lunches are fantastic,” said Wes. “I’ve never had a bad one.” He recently learned to play pinochle and now joins the weekly games at the center.

Wes, who is a Pearl Harbor survivor, enjoys sitting with the usual crowd during lunch and it’s clear there are many friends here. When someone doesn’t show up for a regular visit, another member will check in and make sure everything is ok. “There are a lot of caring people here – people who are eager to help if you have a problem,” said Wes.

Wes’ favorite memory of the center is when his WWII shipmates held part of their reunion there during a lunch. The Center’s Senior Singers and their Hawaiian Hula dancers put on a show for the visiting vets. “It was everyone’s favorite part of their visit to Seattle,” said Wes.

Merlita started coming to the center as a volunteer to help at the reception desk several years ago. Her involvement deepened as she became part of the Board of Directors and a member of the hula group that calls themselves the Kupunas (“elders” in Hawaiian). The hula group has been in existence for over ten years and attracts a large range of ages, including a 95-year old woman. The group often performs locally - last year they did a show at the Evergreen State Fair. “I like the satisfaction of giving back to the community and I’ve made friends here as well,” stressed Merlita.

The Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Center is celebrating its 40-year anniversary in September, which is also National Senior Center Month. It currently has 1,200 members and offers 65 different weekly activities including exercise, computer, quilting, woodworking, painting and life transition classes. The cost for an annual membership is $35 for individuals and $55 for couples.


Sno-Valley Center

Doug lived in the town of Carnation for twenty years before he stepped foot in the Sno-Valley Senior Center eight months ago. “I didn’t want to hang out with a bunch of old people,” said Doug with a smile. After his wife passed away three years ago, his neighbor Marty eventually convinced the 77 year-old to give the center a try. He has been coming to the center to have lunch three-four times a week regularly ever since. “The staff and members have made me feel more than welcome,” said Doug. “The lunches are very good and I eat healthier food here than at home.”

One of Doug’s favorite past-times at the Center has been Wii bowling. “Most of the Senior Services Centers participate in a Wii bowling competition where members try to best other members’ scores from other centers,” said Peggy McNamara, Sno-Valley Center Director. “It’s a lot of fun!”

A few months ago Doug suffered a heart attack and realized he needed to get in better shape. He started attending the center’s EnhanceFitness class, a national program created by Senior Services for seniors to get, and keep, in shape. “Before this class I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded and taking a break,” said Doug. In fact, Doug has recruited his neighbor Marty to attend the fitness class. “He thought he was doing me a favor getting me to the Center but turns out we’ve helped each other out,” stressed Doug.

Doug has been overwhelmed by the friendships he has made since coming to the Sno-Valley Center, including a flood of cards and well wishes after his heart attack. “Being at the Center makes me feel good,” said Doug. “I feel wanted and more a part of the community.”

Peggy hopes to get Doug to share his woodworking skills at the Center sometime in the near future. The Center displays several pieces of art, often created by its members at the weekly artist studio class. The Carnation area fosters a creative environment and the Center tries to capitalize on that. They host a local artisan once a month from local organic farms to educate the seniors about their business. “It’s a great way to stay engaged with the valley entrepreneurs,” said Peggy.

The Sno-Valley Center serves Carnation, Duvall and Fall City. It has a growing membership of 450 with 50-100 people served daily, Monday-Friday, for lunch and activities. The Center will celebrate National Senior Center Month in September and its 40-year anniversary in November.



Ballard NW Senior Center

Once you step through the doors of the Ballard NW Senior Center you are greeted by warm, friendly faces. It’s easy to understand why so many members rave about this place. Positive comments about the food, the people -- both members and staff -- and the activities abound.

Laura has been coming to the Ballard NW Senior Center for three years. “I immediately felt at home,” she says. She has been impressed with the quality of the classes offered and enjoys helping with the four annual rummage sales that draw a large cross-section of people and raise money for the Center. Romance has bloomed for Laura as well. She met Chad at the Center, who drives there from Bellevue to play table tennis three times a week, and they are engaged to be married soon.

Jeanette is a member who started coming a few years ago and keeps coming back regularly because “she feels healthier and respected as a person when she visits.” At 75 she will soon learn to use a computer for the first time thanks to classes offered at the Center. “Coming here helps me grow as a person,” said Jeanette.

Ruth came to the Center to stay busy after she retired. Eight years later she has become an integral part of the Ballard NW Senior Center by starting the laughter yoga class and a sea glass class. She is also a board member, receptionist and co-chairs the bookstore operations. As a result of the many ways she supports the Center, Ruth was recently recognized with their “Volunteer of the Year” award. She likes the bottom-up operation where input from members is very welcome. “I find everyone here to be vibrant and accepting,” she stressed. “And Chef Bob serves delicious, imaginative and healthy lunches!” Lunch is served Monday through Friday as well as a dinner every Wednesday evening.

Enjoying the local senior center is not just limited to those who are retired. Pat started coming to the center 16 years ago when her doctor wanted her to get more exercise. She found a class she really liked and found it easy to come back since it’s close to home. She started volunteering at the front desk, took more classes, started organizing the monthly birthday celebrations and has made several new friends. “I miss the people when I’m not here and I’m always anxious to come back,” said Pat.

The Ballard NW Senior Center offers a large variety of classes such as exercise, art, languages, health and wellness which includes caregiving support. There are many opportunities to volunteer. One member commented that “because of my involvement at the Center I’ve changed from feeling 91 to 19.”

The center will celebrate National Senior Center Month in September by doing what it does best – serving some of its 400 members and over 3,500 yearly participants who utilize the center for tax help, flu shots, etc. Bastyr University physicians visit the center twice a week, every week, to offer free medical check-ups.


Central Senior Center Month

Central Area Senior Center

Tucked in a corner of the Seattle Central District is an unassuming building that houses the Central Area Senior Center. Once you step through the doors you know it’s a special place. Not just because of the stunning views of Lake Washington but because of the people inside -- the warmth and caring here is apparent and smiles are everywhere as music fills the air and the Center “Sliders” start their line dancing class. Monthly musical shows keep the music flowing at what the senior center deems the “Green Dolphin Street Lounge.” The next performance features a local 22-year old saxophonist who just recorded an album.

Kelsi Watson is a member who commutes, via shuttle, four days a week from Renton to the Central district. She passes two other senior centers on her way there but the vibrant culture of the Central Senior Center makes it worth the trip. “People here are like a second family,” said Kelsi. “Everyone is very welcoming.”

Kelsi, who is legally blind, enjoys playing Bingo every Tuesday and cheering the Sliders on from the sidelines at the Center or when they perform at the World Dance Party held every year in Seattle. She has made several friends since she started coming to the Center, including one who started attending church with her and another who invited her to Thanksgiving dinner last year.

Kelsi also receives support from fellow members of the Center when they pick out clothes for her during their regular shopping trips. “They know my taste and my sizes – it’s a big help,” Kelsi said. “I feel blessed to have found this center.”

There are numerous activities at the Central Area Senior Center including health and fitness programs, art, games, support groups, driver safety and trips to local casinos and zoos, to name just a few. The Center also has their own in-house band, the “Senior Strummers,” and a DJ that plays music during lunch which is served Monday through Friday.

The Central Area Senior Center will celebrate National Senior Center Month in September by doing what it does best – serving the hundreds of people who utilize the Center. Cost for an annual membership is $35 per person and $60 per couple. 


fresh food MOW


Home-bound Seniors Receive Fresh Produce from Meals on Wheels

Photo credit: Bryan Ilyankoff

Seattle Tilth and Senior Services have launched delivery of fresh produce with nearly 1,000 of Seattle Tilth’s Good Food Bags to older adults who receive Meals on Wheels in a number of Seattle neighborhoods. Deliveries will continue through mid-October.

“We know that research shows that adding produce to the diets of older adults has significant health benefits,” said Senior Services’ CEO, Dr. Paula L. Houston. “We have been exploring ways to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to supplement our frozen meals and we are excited about this opportunity to partner with Seattle Tilth. It’s also a great time of year to enjoy fresh, sustainably grown produce.”

Seattle Tilth’s executive director, Andrea Platt Dwyer, explained, “Seattle Tilth is committed to making fresh organic produce available to all people at an affordable price point and at a convenient location. So we’re delighted to be able to reach home-bound seniors through this partnership with Senior Services.”

One Meals on Wheels recipient responded to deliveries, saying “I love the fruit and vegetables that you have been bringing the last few week. They are absolutely divine, especially the pickling cucumbers. I made my own homemade pickles! Thank you so much, I’m so grateful.”

This produce delivery is funded through a one-time supplemental allocation of federal Senior Nutrition Program funds, which are administered by Aging & Disability Services,  the Area Agency on Aging for King County.

Senior Services’ Meals on Wheels offers frozen home-delivered meals for older persons who are unable to leave their home to shop or prepare nutritious meals. The meals are prepared with the special dietary needs of seniors in mind and are adaptable to a variety of special diets. In 2014, Meals on Wheels delivered nearly 420,000 meals to more than 2,200 older adults in King County.

Seattle Tilth’s Good Food Bags are pre-packed bags of organically grown, local produce from Seattle Tilth Produce farmers and farm partners. They include four produce items, typically: one type of fruit, a leafy green and two vegetables (e.g. four apples, one bunch of kale, one bunch of carrots and one bunch of broccoli). They also include information that lists the produce in the bag, the farms from which the produce was sourced, nutrition information, cooking tips and one or two recipes using produce from the bag.


Senior Services’ Dr. Robin DiAngelo on KUOW

Robin DiAngelo, PhD, Senior Services’ Director of Equity, teaches anti-racism workshops across the country. She recently spoke with KUOW about the difficulty many white people face when they are asked to examine how racism manifests in their own lives.

Listen to the story here.


I&A: We Are Here To Help: 206.448.3110

We recently shared the news that Aging and Disability Services (ADS), made a significant change in how they are funding information and assistance services in King County.

We want to reassure our community that our I&A phone line, 206.448.3110, will remain in service.

While the ADS model will provide a new central information and referral number (to be announced in the future), Senior Services is the regional hub for Seattle, North King County and the Eastside.

Our I&A services are fully funded by ADS through the end of September and we also have transition funding through December as we work to implement ADS’ new information and referral model. We are working to determine how we will coordinate our efforts with ADS’ new model and their new phone number. However, we will continue to have our own I&A number. We are also exploring changes within our system that will allow us to offer an I&A program to the community that comes as close as possible to what we currently provide.

We want to recognize each and every one of our I&A staff who continue to provide high-quality service to our clients during a time of significant challenges. We also want to thank everyone who participated in advocacy efforts on behalf of our Information and Assistance program, in response to ADS’s changes in funding and service delivery model.

Stay tuned for more details as they become available. 

Summer Newsletter

Summer 2015 Newsletter

 In this issue: Helping seniors stay safely in their homes with Minor Home Repairs; our newest program to support our work, Transition Treasures; Meals on Wheels helps feed senior's pets; and more. Read the newsletter 
Photo: Dolores Jordan and Senior Services’ Jacob Squirrel.

Pride 2015

Senior Services at Pride Parade 2015

We had a great time at the parade. The response to Senior Services was SO positive; it really showed how much the community cares about our mission.

Check out the photos and videos on our Facebook page:

Photo Album

Video 1

Video 2

Thanks to everyone who joined us:

Staff: Norah Erwin Stewart (and family), Deborah Terry-Hays, Kailan Tyler- Babkirk, Leonard Luna, Tony Banks, Sarah Demas, Robin DiAngelo, Karen Bystrom, Sally Friedman, Janice Jaworski. Volunteer: Janet Reed: Alzheimers Group led by  Senior Services Board Member

Janet Ceballos (and family) and other Alzheimers Assn volunteers.

Hot Weather Tips

Hot Weather Tips

Be sure to take care of yourself as the temperature rises and check on any family members or neighbors who live alone.

Thanks to KING 5 News for their story about helping our Meals on Wheels clients get ready and to Safeway for donating extra bottled water for them.

Watch the KING 5 story here.

Need a cool place to hang out? Check out this list of cooling centers.

Tips from Seattle & King County Public Health

Save IandA

Help Us Save I&A for Seniors

June 24, 2015: Update on the recent decision by the City of Seattle Human Services Department’s Aging and Disability to make a radical change in the delivery of Information and Assistance Services (I&A) in King County .

This week, ADS confirmed that they will fully fund Senior Services’ program through September 30, 2015. Our community can count on the same level of service for seniors and adults with disabilities through that date.

Senior Services continues to advocate for a one year transition period with funding. At this point, ADS is working internally to determine if they can provide full or partial funding for our program just through December 31, 2015. This would mean that we may receive additional funding for October, November and December, but it may be at a lower level. We may not know the outcome of this work for a few weeks. Any additional funding beyond December 31, 2015 would have to come from the current Human Services Department budget or be a supplemental budget request by the Human Services Department to the Mayor’s Office and approved by City Council.

ADS has asked us to serve as the Eastside Region Lead (Hub) and we are interested in providing that service. The available funding would support a half-time position for outreach and coordination.

One important clarification is that the phone number for the new central access line will not be 211, but will be a new phone number that will require significant marketing support to ensure older adults and adults with disabilities are aware of it. ADS anticipates launching the new phone number in September.

At Senior Services, we are deeply concerned about our current clients and those who will need   reliable and specialized services tailored to support and empower older adults, people living with disabilities, and their caregivers in the future. We will begin working on determining how we can respond and provide this critical level of support to a very vulnerable population. 

We will also need to find funding to make this possible. We are continuing our advocacy efforts with state and local officials. We will also be reaching out to potential partners who have referred clients and patients to our I&A services.

For more information, contact Idabelle Fosse, 206.727.6237 or idabellef@seniorservices.org. She can keep you informed about the process and how you can help.



Senior Services Recognizes EnhanceFitness Instructors for 2015


Senior Services’ EnhanceFitness program recognized two Seattle area EnhanceFitness instructors at the annual EnhanceFitness Washington State Instructor’s Workshop held June 2 at Tukwila Community Center.  Stacy Burnham was named 2015 Washington EnhanceFitness Instructor of the Year and Bob Bell received the first-ever Community Builder Award


The participants in Stacy Burnham’s classes are effusive in their praise of her skill: “Stacy is very professional in an easy going way and makes our workouts enjoyable. She is very safety conscious and modifies each exercise for various abilities…We are so lucky to have Stacy as our instructor!” Ms. Burnham, an American Council on Exercise (ACE) Personal Trainer, instructs at the Seattle Housing Assistance Group (SHAG) facilities of Cedar Park and Victoria Park Apartments in Northeast Seattle.


The Instructor of the Year Award is based on stringent criteria established by Senior Services’ ProjectEnhance team, the disseminators of this award-winning evidence-based physical activity program for senior adults


Bob Bell demonstrates the qualities of the Community Builder Award by creating a deep sense of community, which keeps participants coming to EnhanceFitness class. The results are clearly stated by one of them, saying “…participants indicate they have more energy and flexibility…Many have gone through heart, hip, and knee surgeries with higher and sustainable recovery rates than other seniors who do not perform regular physical activity. …our doctors are impressed with our program and recognize the better quality of life we are leading as a result of it.”


Mr. Bell began his journey with EnhanceFitness as a class participant and after seeing life changing health gains, trained to teach the program to other senior adults at the Kenmore Senior Program, part of the Northshore Senior Center.  Participants cited Bob’s sense of humor and enthusiasm repeatedly as the spark for the social interaction in this EnhanceFitness class that spills over into coffee chats, potlucks and monthly birthday celebrations.


Senior Services CEO Paula L. Houston congratulated Ms. Burnham and Mr. Bell, saying, “Our EnhanceFitness program has served more than 50,000 older adults across 31 states and has been proven to increase physical function, decrease depression, and improve social interaction while decreasing healthcare costs and unplanned hospitalizations. We are proud of our strong network of EnhanceFitness instructors; they make a profound difference in the lives of seniors by helping them combat the effects of age-specific health challenges by teaching the EnhanceFitness program in communities across the nation.”


Learn more about EnhanceFitness.


transportation funding

Hyde Shuttle Funding Challenges

The Hyde Shuttles offer affordable and accessible transportation to seniors and people with disabilities of all ages in many communities across King County. Recent policy changes at the federal level eliminated local flexibility for spending the federal dollars, resulting in a funding reduction of $232,000 per year. The funding cut is effective July, 2015.

We are working with local governments to prevent these cuts, so that we don’t have to eliminate five routes, affecting 500 riders, who will lose 14,000 rides over the next year. The demand for our service is growing, so this is not the time to be reducing service. We need to expand this program so that older adults and people with disabilities can stay connected with their communities.

If you would like to know how you can help with advocacy efforts or would like more information, contact Joanne Donohue, Vice President, Community Development at (206) 727-6206 or by email at joanned@seniorservices.org.

Learn more about the Hyde Shuttles here.

Inspire and Walmart Grant

Inspire Positive Aging Award & Walmart Grant

Senior Services CEO Paula L. Houston, Ed.D., presented the 2015 “Inspire Positive Aging Award” to Eileen Broomell of SeaTac at the nonprofit’s Annual Meeting on Wednesday, May 20. She also accepted a check for $60,000 from Deborah Herron of Walmart, in support of Senior Services’ Meals on Wheels program.


“Thank you to Walmart for their ongoing support of nutrition for older adults throughout King County,” said Dr. Houston.


"This is the fifth year in a row that Senior Services has been recognized with a grant from the Walmart Foundation Washington State Giving Council," said Deborah Herron, Walmart director of public affairs and government relations. "We are pleased that this partnership can continue and we look forward to working together to ensure that our friends and neighbors have access to nourishing foods."


Mark Stensager, Senior Services Board Chair, reported that Senior Services served nearly 72,000 older adults and their family members and friends in 2014 throughout King County. More than 3,800 volunteers supported the work of the professional staff. Senior Services’ 2014 Annual Report, with more information, is available online.

Dr. Houston shared key themes from the recent American Society on Aging conference attended by several Senior Services staff members. One is a shift from helping seniors live independently to ensuring that they are living “interdependently,” connected to people, places and things in their communities that will serve to keep them vibrant, healthy and fulfilled. She also addressed the need to elevate the issue of aging in the philanthropic community. The U.S. culture’s focus on youth has led to a loss of appreciation for the gifts brought to one another as people age; it is time to change our messages and inspire the philanthropic community to embrace seniors and aging issues as assets and a viable investment for the future.


The 2015 “Inspire Positive Aging Award” recipient, Eileen Broomell, 89, is an educator, motivator, instructor, and a strong believer in positive thinking. Eileen has been a Red Cross volunteer instructor/trainer in CPR, first aid and water safety for several decades. She ran her own business as a canoe river guide for 27 years. Eileen was an instructor at Highline Community College, and also coached Highline's basketball and volleyball teams. In her retirement, she continues to teach health, wellness, and exercise classes at several senior centers. Today Eileen is regularly at SeaTac Senior Center three times a week for her Senior Working Out Class, and has formed a strong relationship with other participants. Eileen continues to embrace new adventures. She has undertaken road trips to Florida and Alaska, and plans to visit Montana and New Mexico this summer.


Ms. Broomell received two tickets from sponsor Alaska Airlines and her nominator, Kathleen Cummings of the SeaTac Senior Program, received a Barnes and Noble gift card.


Senior Services created the “Inspire Positive Aging Award” in 2006 to recognize older adults in King County whose lives inspire us about how to age with grace, enthusiasm, creativity, hope, and energy. Public nominations are solicited each year and a committee of the Senior Services Board of Directors and staff members names the recipient.


The other nominees for the 2015 “Inspire Positive Aging Award” included:


Dorlene Agenbroad

Karen Artz

Dr. I-Jen Chen

Tom Conway

Edna Daigre

Delores DavisJoyce Ditz

Alice Dobson

Gary King

Jan King

Erlinda Lorenzo

Mabel McDaniel

Amy Nikaitani

Eleanor Owen

Louise Robert

Harald Sund

Etta Williams.




Zippy, the official Senior Spokesdog for Senior Services, says thanks to everyone who GaveBIG!


GiveBIG is a one-day, online  event sponsored by the Seattle Foundation to inspire people to give generously to nonprofit organizations who make our region a healthier and more vital place to live.


We are deeply grateful to everyone who helped us raise nearly $32,000 for Senior Services and our participating Senior Centers! We will be able to report the final results in the next few days.

KING 5 did a great story on Senior Services and the Central Area Senior Center. You can watch it here.


·      Ballard NW Senior Center 

·      Central Area Senior Cente

·      Shoreline/Lake Forest Park Senior Center 

·      Sno-Valley Senior Center 

·     Senior Center of West Seattle 

·    Southeast Seattle Senior Center

We also want to thank the Seattle Foundation and all of the GiveBIG sponsors.


If you didn't see it, you can see the campaign on our Facebook page!


MOW share


Meals on Wheels Program Awarded $500 “Share the Love”


Senior Services, the provider of Meals on Wheels in King County, is proud to announce it has received a $500 grant from Meals on Wheels America for its participation in Subaru of America’s seventh annual Share the Love” 

event. During the event held from November 20, 2014 through January 2, 2015, Subaru of America, Inc. donated $250 for every new Subaru vehicle purchased or leased to the customer’s choice of participating charities, including Meals on Wheels America, of which Senior Services is a member.

“This grant will purchase 235 meals,” said Senior Services CEO Paula L. Houston. “That represents more than 16 weeks of meals for one senior who otherwise might not get needed nutrition. Our Meals on Wheels program also provides vital personal connections for homebound seniors. We are grateful to Subaru of America and Meals on Wheels America.”

Senior Services participated in a commercial made to promote “Share the Love” and to raise funds and awareness of senior isolation and hunger in Seattle and King County. During the holiday season they promoted the event through social media.

“We greatly appreciate Subaru’s ongoing commitment to Meals on Wheels through its annual ‘Share the Love’ event,” said Ellie Hollander, Meals on Wheels America President and CEO. “Subaru of America and its local retailers across the country have truly become an extension of the Meals on Wheels family. Even long after this event concludes, Subaru helps us to deliver that meal, friendly smile and vital safety check that are so vital to millions of America’s seniors.”

"Subaru, our retailers, and our owners feel good about giving to organizations like Meals on Wheels, and that’s why we do the Subaru “Share the Love” event,” said Brian Cavallucci, Subaru of America’s National Advertising Manager. “Subaru is honored to have donated more than $8.4 million to Meals on Wheels over the past seven years, making a positive impact in local communities and the lives of our elderly loved ones.”

The 2014 “Share the Love” funds will continue to benefit local Meals on Wheels America Member organizations throughout the year through additional grant opportunities, Annual Conference scholarships and by sponsoring the organization’s March for Meals annual awareness campaign.


Senior Services’ Dr. Robin DiAngelo on White Fragility

Dr. Robin DiAngelo, Director of Equity for Senior Services, has been interviewed and published around the country recently. She demonstrates our commitment to equity and inclusion in work within Senior Services and throughout the community.

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism

White America’s racial illiteracy: Why our national conversation is poisoned from the start

In These Times of Racial Strife, A White Professor Explores The Prevalence of ‘White Fragility’

Dr. Robin DiAngelo is also an Associate Professor of Education. Her scholarship is in Whiteness Studies. Her research is concerned with the challenges of an increasingly white teaching force and an increasingly diverse student population.

She has twice been honored with the Student’s Choice Award for Educator of the Year. In addition to her academic work, Dr. DiAngelo has extensive experience as a workplace consultant in issues of race relations and racial justice. She has numerous publications and

just released her second book, What Does it Mean to be White?: Developing White Racial Literacy. Her previous book: Is Everyone Really Equal: An Introduction to Social Justice.

Volunteer Month

Volunteer Appreciation Month: April 2015


We love our volunteers! Thank you to the more than 3,800 people who help us support older adults and those who care for them.


All of our volunteers are invited to one of three special events, April 14, 16 and 21. Join us so that we can express our appreciation. Register here.

King 5

KING 5 Promotes Volunteer Transportation


Thanks to KING5 for a terrific story about our volunteer transportation program. Watch the video here.

Interested in volunteering? Learn more here.

Inspire Awards

Inspire Positive Aging Award: Nominations due April 27

Do you know an elder age 60 and older that lives in King County who inspires others in their community to age with grace, enthusiasm, creativity and hope?  Then nominate them today. Senior Services is currently accepting nominations for this year’s Inspire Positive Aging Award.  Anyone can nominate an elder. Learn more and find the nomination form.

Volunteer Spotlight

Volunteer Spotlight

April is Volunteer Appreciation Month

Photo: Volunteer driver Kathe Kern and client Tamaya Nomi.

Kathe Kern has been on the road for 25 years, and counting.

Senior Services volunteer driver Kathe Kern has always believed in giving her time to help others. With a degree in zoology and chemistry she began her first volunteer gig—reading and recording textbooks for blind students. But when her first son came along, Kathe found she could no longer make recordings. Babies are loud!

Fortunately, Kathe came across a Senior Services ad in the newspaper for volunteer drivers to take seniors to medical appointments. The gig seemed perfect as it allowed her to put her little boy in the backseat and take him along. Twenty-five years and four more boys later, Kathe is still driving. All five kids—one or two at a time—accompanied her as she went from her Mercer Island home all over the east side and Seattle with elders needing rides to the doctor.

Kathe says her boys learned valuable lessons from the experience. “I drove a woman who had cancer,” she remembers, “and she yelled at me. The boys’ eyes got as big as the moon, since they knew no one was allowed to talk to mom that way. Later I explained that the lady was very sick and maybe dying, and this is one of those times you have to be understanding.”

Senior Services’ Volunteer Transportation program provides door-to-door rides to medical appointments and back for seniors who are not able to drive themselves or manage public transportation. Last year, 800 caring and dedicated people—many of them seniors themselves—volunteered to help elders get to their doctors.

According to Kathe, the rewards of driving are great. “It has been as good for me as for the people I drove,” she says. “They’re good company and we tell each other our stories.” The clients have been appreciative and always loved seeing Kathe’s kids.

Though the boys are grown now, Kathe still drives several times a week. “It gets me out of the house!”

Senior Services offers many fun, meaningful,  and rewarding volunteer opportunities. Please join us

Annual Meeting

2015 Annual Meeting

You are invited to our Annual Meeting, May 20,  2 to 5 p.m., at the Des Moines Beach Auditorium, 22030 Cliff Ave S, Des Moines, WA.

The event is free and open to the public; reservations are requested by registering online or calling (206) 727-6267

The program will include light refreshments, exhibitor tables, an overview of Senior Services’ past year, and introductions of the Inspire Positive Aging Award nominees for 2015, and the announcement of the 2015 award recipient.

Exhibitor tables will be featured prior to the beginning of the program.  They will highlight local businesses, civic groups, and community partners who believe in the vision of Senior Services and want to share the way in which their resources can enhance the lives of others.

Thank You, Microsoft

Thank You, Microsoft

Information Systems Manager John Gleichman jumped up and down with excitement when he learned that Microsoft had donated software—valued at a jaw-dropping $944,000—to keep Senior Services’ technology up-to-date.

“This new software makes it easier and faster for our staff and volunteers to help seniors in the community,” says Gleichman. “I cannot say enough good things about Microsoft. They really care.”

From gifts at the holidays to contributions from employees, mission support grants, volunteers, and desperately needed software, our partners at Microsoft truly take philanthropy to the next level and beyond.

Fund for Needy Donors

Seattle Times Fund for the Needy Donors Give Record $1,287,878

One more round of applause for The Seattle Times' Fund for Needy campaign and everyone who contributed to raise an incredible $1.2+ million. That community support in the holiday season allows Senior Services and our nonprofit colleagues to continue helping people in need all year 'round. We are so grateful.

Read more about the campaign below.

Now that your 50

Things to Know Now That You’re 50: Launching New Workshops at Sno-Valley Senior Center


Those turning 50 – or finding themselves a few years into their 50s – know there are new things to learn for the next phase of life. However, many may not be looking forward to talking about aging and the issues we all may face.  Senior Services and Sno-Valley Senior Center will make it easy and fun for those attending a new series of workshops developed through Senior Services’ Aging Your Way initiative.

It’s a boot camp of topics packaged into four sessions that will prepare participants for the next exciting life stage. Topics include The Time of Your Life:  You Can Plan the Next 50 Years!; Take This Job and Love It:  You Deserve Sanity, Passion and Fun While You Work; Health and Care:  When You or a Loved One Needs Help; Death is the New Sex!:  No Longer a Taboo Subject, Make Positive End of Life Plans.

Taught by Aging Your Way Program Manager Dori Gillam, each session is two hours, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Sno-Valley Senior Center in Carnation. A new topic is featured each Tuesday evening, April 7, 14, 21 and 28. The series is only $100 when purchased in advance; $135 at the door (space available.)

Workshops are planned for other locations throughout King County in the coming months. Learn more and register here.

Emergency Kits

Home-bound Seniors Receive Free Emergency-Preparedness Kits


Theresa O'Neil greets Fran Donohue,
 Meals on Wheels driver for Senior Services.


Home-bound Seniors Receive Free Emergency-Preparedness Kits

American Preparedness, Senior Services and Swedish partner to provide supplies to some of King County’s most vulnerable residents


Meals on Wheels client Theresa O’Neil was, as always, delighted to welcome driver Fran Donohue into her cozy home with her week’s food delivery. But this day, Fran had an extra gift for her, thanks to Swedish and American Preparedness. Theresa’s eyes sparkled even more than usual, as Fran showed her the contents of her free emergency preparedness kit.


KING 5 News was there to capture this moment, and you can watch the video here

You can also see photos from this delivery on our Facebook page

American Preparedness, Senior Services and Swedish Health Services recently launched delivery of free emergency preparedness kits to 1,000 vulnerable, home-bound King County seniors who receive Meals on Wheels. The kits provide emergency food and water, first-aid supplies, a flashlight, thermal blanket, hand warmers and other items to help individuals during the critical first 72 hours of an emergency.

A recent University of Iowa study found that the majority of adults age 50 and older in the U.S. may not be prepared for a serious flood, earthquake, tornado or other natural disaster. In the Puget Sound region, such disasters as earthquake and inclement weather are most likely to impact these vulnerable populations.


“This is an opportunity to provide additional support to these older adults who may find it more difficult to obtain emergency supplies,” says Paula Houston, CEO of Senior Services. “It also allows us to address the larger issue of emergency preparedness with these clients and help them think about how to plan to connect with their caregivers or other means of support during an emergency.”


“American Preparedness is committed to ensuring that the public—especially vulnerable people like home-bound seniors—are protected during an emergency,” says Jeff Guite, President and Founder of American Preparedness Company.

Swedish and Senior Services have teamed up on a number of initiatives such as mobile mammography services and tailored health and fitness classes to improve the health and well-being of older adults. This is the first time the two organizations have combined efforts with American Preparedness to make an even greater impact on this community. As part of its ongoing Community Benefits Program, Swedish provided approximately $30,000 in funding to support this important initiative.

See more below about emergency planning


Giving Programs Brighten Seniors’ Holidays

Thanks to the outstanding efforts of our community partners’ Holiday Giving Programs, many older adults enjoyed a very merry holiday season. At a time when many local seniors may find themselves isolated, these programs bring great joy.

Thanks to Boeing, East Shore Unitarian Church, Facebook, Microsoft’s Giving Tree, Nordstrom, Regence, Symetra, and Wilson Law Firm.  Many of our seniors are on fixed incomes and your generosity proves that the holiday spirit is alive and well in King County. 

Fund for the Needy

Senior Services Benefits from Seattle Times Fund for the Needy

Senior Services' Meals on Wheels program was the feature story for Fund for the Needy on December 28.

The annual Seattle Times Fund for the Needy campaign launched on Sunday, November 23 with a front-page story featuring the Central Area Senior Center.

Each year, Fund for the Needy raises hundreds of thousands of dollars to support 12 nonprofits—including Senior Services—in Seattle and King County. This year’s goal is an ambitious $1.3 million. January 20, the fund is at 95 percent of the goal! You can give today.

Other Fund for the Needy stories:

Jan. 4: One teen's transformation from gang member to role model
Dec. 27: Once-struggling student now in college, thanks to Treehouse
Dec. 24: Helping families spring back from distress
Dec. 20: After a bad year, young mom find beacon of hope and stability
Dec. 17: Fund for the Needy donations on record pace
Dec. 15: 'We lost everything,' but Hopelink offers road back
Dec. 11: A place where Asian and Pacific Islander teens feel safe
Dec. 7: Childhaven overcome abuse and neglect
Dec. 3: Kent agency helps teen who strayed get pointed to hopeful future
Nov. 29: Big Brothers, Big Sisters helps youth develop their potential
Nov. 26: Salvation Army fills needy kids' backpacks with food and hope
Nov. 26: Donor's tender heart and generous spirit shine at holidays

You can support Fund for the Needy by making a donation and by booking passage on the Argosy Cruise Christmas Ship.

Google Meals on Wheels

Google.org Awards $10,000 Grant to Senior Services’ Meals on Wheels

Senior Services announced today that Google.org is contributing $10,000 to the organization’s Meals on Wheels program, which strives to ensure that no King County senior will go hungry. Last year, Meals on Wheels delivered nearly 390,000 meals to more than 2,100 individuals.


Darcy Nothnagle, Western Region Public Affairs Manager for Google, said "Here in Seattle we're hoping to make the holidays a little brighter for clients who receive meals from Senior Services. Organizations like this are a powerful weapon in the fight against hunger and malnutrition."


“We are grateful to Google.org for this generous gift,” said George Twiss, Vice President and Chief Development Officer. “Senior Services’ Meals on Wheels makes it easy for home-bound persons age 60 or more to eat well and remain independent. This grant will provide nearly 2,000 meals for vulnerable seniors in King County.”


Senior Services’ Meals on Wheels offers frozen home-delivered meals for older persons who are unable to leave their home to shop or prepare nutritious meals. The meals are prepared with the special dietary needs of seniors in mind and are adaptable to a variety of special diets.


Over the course of the year, Google.org strives to make the world a little bit better through their technology and giving programs, including more than $100 million in grants, $1 billion in technology resources, and 80,000+ volunteer hours donated to causes around the world. Learn more at www.Google.org.


Emergency Preparedness Tips

Emergency Planning Tips for Older Adults and Caregivers

Emergency planning tips for Older Adults and Caregivers

1.      Do you have enough food to last one week?

2.      Do you have enough medications to last one week?

3.      Do you have heat, and are you able to stay warm?

4.      Do you have a personal support system in area?

5.      Do you live alone? Are you working with any community support resources like CM, or have a caregiver?

6.      Are you homebound?

7.      Are you at risk for falling? Use any assistance devices, etc.

Caregiver emergency planning tips

1.      Do you have a list and supply of medications for person you care for?

2.      Do you have person you are caring for care plan needs in writing?

3.      Do you have important documents easily accessible such as POA, emergency contact info?

4.      Do you have any wander alert, medic alert, life line systems for person you are caring for?

5.      If unable to assist with evacuation for Cl home or facility do you have a personal contact or neighbor to assist if needed?

Emergency Supply Kit Checklist

The more you do to prepare, the better off you will be in case of an emergency. Emergency planners suggest you should plan to make it on your own for at least three days following a crisis. They advise:

·        Water for drinking and sanitation. One gallon per person per day for at least  three days

·        Food. At least a three-day supply of non-perishable items and a can opener

·        Battery-powered radio

·        Flashlight and extra batteries

·        Blankets, moist towelettes, plastic garbage bags and ties for personal sanitation

·        First Aid Kit

·        Dust mask to filter contaminated air

·        Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

·        Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

·        Medication supply (clearly labeled)

·        Eyeglasses or hearing aids as needed

·        Extra set of keys

·        Phone list of both in-town and out-of-town contacts

Having access to important documents is advised. Important medical records, family records, health insurance information, any Powers of Attorney, your Wills or Health Care Directives should also be part of an emergency kit.

Call Senior Services Information and Assistance, 206-448-3110, for more information about planning for winter weather.

In Memoriam William J. Cruzen

In Memoriam: William (Bill) James Cruzen

Senior Services mourns the passing of Bill Cruzen on October 29, 2014 in Palm Springs, California, after a courageous 6-plus year battle with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Bill was a member of the Senior Services Board of Directors for more than a decade, serving as president (2004) and past president (2005) before retiring from the board in 2008.


“Bill and I served together on the Senior Services Board in the ‘90s and he was very effective and involved,” said George Twiss. “When I returned to Senior Services this year as Vice President and Chief Development Officer, I learned how engaged Bill had remained throughout the years. In particular, he introduced friends and colleagues to Senior Services through our fund-raising gala dinner and auction, Soiree. Also, as a pre-eminent estate planning attorney, Bill was a founder of our Planned Giving program. He was truly a great and long term friend of Senior Services and the elders we serve.”


Bill graduated from Seattle University with a B.A. in 1964 and from Hastings College of the Law, University of California with a J.D. in 1967, Order of the Coif and Thurston Society. He joined Karr Tuttle Campbell in 1967, and was the chairperson of the Trust and Estates Department until he retired. For many years, he published articles for, addressed, and chaired seminars to the legal and accounting professions on estate planning, inclusive of the Washington State Bar Association, the Estate Planning Council of Seattle, the Walla Walla Estate Planning Council, and the Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants. He was a past member of the board of trustees of Community Home Health Care Services and of the board of trustees of Bastyr University. He was also a past member of the planned giving advisory board of the American Cancer Society and past member of the planned giving advisory board of Seattle University. He was elected a Super Lawyer for the years 2002 through 2010.


From his obituary in The Seattle Times, “Sometimes people don't just pass by us, they pass through us, leaving a legacy which we treasure for all time; the fingerprint of their soul, a warmness, a goodness, a kindness - the epitome of love and respect. Bill was such a man.


“Born to Pearl Charboneau and George Cruzen on February 28, 1942 in Detroit, Michigan, Bill is survived by Steve Catching (his loving husband of 40 years); sons Sean Cruzen and Darin Cruzen; daughter in-law Deena Elzey and grandchildren, Christopher Mehlert-Cruzen, Rian Elzey-Cruzen and Kaitlin Cruzen; brother Glen Cruzen of Texas; and his best friend and unconditional companion, Jackson. In the last months of his life, he was surrounded by his family and many, many friends - a testament to this truly remarkable man.”


The family requested in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bill's name to Senior Services for the William Cruzen and Steve Catching Endowment Fund. You may read the obituary and sign Bill's online Guest Book.

Soiree update

31st Annual Senior Services Soirée Raises $340,000

“For the Love of Sylvia,” Video Highlight

Senior Services was honored to profile Sylvia and her son, Ira, and grandson, Asher, in our video at Soiree on November 1. We are saddened to note that she passed away on November 9. She attended the dinner with Ira and he was able to salute her in a short speech following the video. Learn more about Sylvia and her remarkable life in her obituary.  Our thanks to the family for sharing their story and being part of Senior Services. 

Senior Services hosted the 31st Annual Soirée, a black-tie Gala Dinner and Auction, on Saturday, November 1, at the Museum of Flight, raising $340,000, a 12 percent increase over the 2013 event.


Proceeds from Soirée help fund Senior Services’ programs that support older adults throughout King County, including Information & Assistance, a one-stop phone line for resources; Meals on Wheels, Community Dining; Volunteer Transportation; Hyde Shuttles; EnhanceFitness and Enhance Wellness; Minor Home Repair; Caregiver Advocates; Senior Rights Assistance; Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA); and seven senior centers.


“Thank you to everyone who made this event a success, including our corporate sponsors, attendees and volunteers. We also want to thank our emcee KIRO 7 anchor and reporter Monique Ming Laven (who is also a Senior Services volunteer driver), and our auctioneer Stephen Kilbreath,” said Paula L. Houston, Senior Services CEO. “Each person made a difference in the lives of older adults and those who care about them throughout King County. From the frail, homebound elders to healthy, active Baby Boomers, our programs help older adults improve nutrition, increase social support and maintain their independence.  In short, we help those we serve maintain quality of life and make aging a positive experience. The funds raised at Soirée help us to do just that.”


The evening also included performances by the Mount Zion Wind Ensemble Group during the silent auction and Sensible Shoes, the Seattle Women’s Chorus Ensemble, during dinner.


The 2014 Platinum Sponsor for Soirée was Swedish Medical Center. Silver Sponsor was Group Health. Bronze Sponsors were AAA Washington, Regence BlueShield and Symetra.


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News Links

Taking Care Of Mom & Dad
Taking Care Of Mom & Dad, a KIRO 7 Family Connection Special, shows four families and how they're coping with aging parents.

For the Media

Important stories involving seniors arise almost every day in our community. Senior Services is an expert source that can answer questions and provide information for those in the media. If you are a member of the press and have any questions or need more information, please contact:

Karen L. Bystrom
Director, Marketing and Communications
(206) 727-6209
Email Karen